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The Plant Lady Cowl - Design Diary

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A hand holds a lace cowl on the knitting needles, mid stitch. The yarn and cowl are green, the hand and lap are a white lady's and the feeling is soft and comfortable.
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Like many, knitting is a way for me to process my thoughts, feelings and experiences. The Plant Lady Cowl is a single skein lace cowl with leaves and twig bundles that I created while moving through the many emotions that come from leaving my home and friends (yes the plants I share space with become my friends). When I started the design it was with a sense of loneliness and loss, but as I knit it, I began to look more closely around me and to see that I am not alone. In fact many of the plant friends I thought I had left behind were simply waiting for me to notice them!

Upon moving to a city, I started to feel detached from the plant world. But I have realized I don’t have to live in a cabin in the forest to have a relationship with the plants around me. During my time in the city I learned that there are many healing pants and plants that will lend their dye to fiber just outside an apartment window. This lace cowl pattern, with its repeating leaf and bundle of stems lace pattern, is my reminder for all of us that

we are a part of Nature - even in the city.

For me, and many others, the rhythmic click-swish of knitting needles and the feel of a soft strand of yarn moving over my fingers as I stitch, creates a space for me to slow down and process my experiences. I guess this is why they often say "Knitting is my therapy."

When I began to knit the Plant Lady Cowl recently, I cast my memory back to the Boreal Forest and the many plant friends I left behind. I miss them deeply, but after leaving Alaska, I was pleasantly surprised to find many of them dwelling in the city. Now that I find myself knitting in the country again, I am so happy to see how many of my friends from the Boreal Forest also live here and I am inspired to get to know those I never had the opportunity to meet before.

While High Desert Sage
Wild High Desert Sage

Every day, we walk past healing herbs growing near us and sharing our space. Plantain, clover, lemon balm, and dandelion have all been loved by our feet as we walk along the grass. We add herbs to our soup and sing songs of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme when we don’t feel well. We fill empty jars with flowers or hang them to dry to bring color into our lives. We turn herbs into tea to energize and strengthen us.

Now that I have left the city and returned to a rural setting to make my home, I am once again getting to know my plant neighbors. Building new relationships takes time but by touching them as I walk past, getting down low to see how they pop out of the ground in the spring, and learning what critters like to nibble them I am slowly getting to feel a connection with them. A Plant Person doesn't start out knowing all the things about the plants they share space with. It's through relationship that we gain an understanding. All it takes to be a Plant Person is to be curious and act on the desire to become better aquatinted with the Plant Kingdom through care and reciprocity.

How to choose yarn for the Plant Lady Cowl:

Plant Lady Cowl was designed with Bad Sheep Yarn DK and is the perfect project for that one special skein of DK yarn. When choosing yarn, look for a solid, tonal, semi solid or gently variegated yarn. Highly variegated yarns with many bright colors demand to be the star and will compete with the lace images of leaves and twig bundles. I often look at other people's projects (check out the links below) when I am choosing yarn for a project. Bad Sheep Yarn has many tonal and lightly variegated options that would work up so nicely!

Check out other people's Plant Lady Cowl Projects!

Interested in seeing how the Plant Lady Cowl pattern knits up in different yarns? Check out the hashtag #PlantLadyCowl on Instagram (tap the image below) or check out the Ravelry projects here!

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1 Comment

Meredith Coelho
Meredith Coelho
May 22, 2022

It’s beautiful and I relate to your ideas of what it means to be a plant person. While I have so much still to learn, I am often surprised that so many people around me are unaware of the medicine and magic that surrounds us.

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